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365Expressions

Writing these "letters" has helped me to process life as a new mother, remain thankful, and come awake to the little moments that make this pretty challenging season simply wonderful.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 146...Dry times

I'm so sad.  I haven't had a regular Bible study time for myself in a really long time, just small bites here and there, and I'm starving!!  I can't seem to find a regular time, a regular place, or anything regular at all, in this season of my life.  Lord help me!  Any committed Christian will tell you just how important this time spent away with God, time in His Word, fellowship with Him, is.  I am one of them.  I've been to all of the places.  Times of flood and times of drought.  Having experienced it all, I want a life full and flowing with God, regularly!

Dear Sadie.

Day 145...almost ready to quit!

I'm going to have to pray a LOT to get caught up with this mess.  I've fallen so far behind, I actually thought of quitting my letters to you!  I had to take a break because I just couldn't keep up with these letters while on vacation.  Now it's so overwhelming thinking of writing to get caught up.  But in the end, this is one commitment I don't want to break, so I'm going to do my best for you, baby!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 144...pulling weeds

after coffee on the porch, the family decided to get busy on some yard work.  shoveling bark, pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, pruning the bushes.  it was fun just being together, chatting in the sunshine, sweating a little, and being productive.  family just being together.

Day 143...the beach

yesterday we spent the day at the beach, and it was so much fun because we were just enjoying the outdoors with no plans but to relax and have fun.  the rocks.  shoveling sand.  the painfully cold water.  picnicking.  climbing on driftwood.  hiking on trails.  lying on the beach catching some rays without ever boiling from the heat.  it was an absolutely perfect day.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 142...no daddy

These entries just have to be short and sweet.  There's no way to get away and write much here on vacation with my family.

One thing I realize while being away from your daddy is, two parents are better than one.  Having that balance, the father and the mother, is truly a divine creation.  You kids are better off having both the manly, authoritative presence in your life, as well as the feminine nurturer, your mom.  Without one or the other, it's incomplete.  You are having fun here being with family, but without daddy, you're floundering a bit.  It's hard to tell how, but I can tell.

Dear Sadie.

Day 141...there's no place like home

even though i've been in georgia now for over half my life, i will always call this place (washington) home.  whenever i arrive here, it's like i breathe a bit easier.  the familiarity uplifts me.  the nostalgia drugs me.  the comfort of this place i call my hometown is indescribable.

nature.  trees.  grass.  cool weather.  rainy.  clouds.  beautiful skies.  snow-capped mountains.  wildlife.  outdoor recreation.  moss.  even slugs.

it's hard to put into words what home does to you.  i thought eventually i'd lose the passion for coming here, that it wouldn't affect me so much after so long.  but how could i ever not miss this place?!  it's beautiful and mystical and hauntingly green and lush and fresh.  the culture of relaxed natures and coffee drinkers.  the arts and the mix of people.  it's not that it's superior to any other place.  it's more the fact that it's where i come from.  it connects to a deep part of me that will never go away.  i wish we could spend some time living here so that our family could have some roots from here, too.  that i wouldn't feel like such a fish out of water so much of the time.  just some time to come and swim for awhile and loosen my gills.  then anywhere.

i'm the kind of person that can make do with whatever is given to me.  i'm a chameleon.  but home never leaves you, no matter where life takes you.  it's a gift i love to dwell on.

Dear Sadie.

Day 140...so good to be with family

so you, me, titus, grandma and grandpa finally made it up here to washington to see the family.  yeah!  after a long wait to get here (two days) the airline finally let us on.  the getting here was tough, but it was all worth it to see our loving family.  the next several letters will be here in washington, so i imagine they will mostly be short and similar, but i will try to continue my letters to you. it makes me so happy to see you enjoying your cousins, aunt and uncle, and vice versa. you don't even know i'm here.  there's nothing like the way you interact with each other.  so happy.  laughing.  tumbling.  tickling.  running.  hugging.  it's wonderful.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 139...trek update

eight days into eating better, drinking more water, stretching, and exercising, and guess what...i CAN feel a difference.  more energy!!  standing a bit straighter.  at least i think i am.  just a bit of good news for you.

Dear Sadie.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 138...airport lemonade stand

sometimes days take you by surprise.  little things add up to a day leaving you going, "Huh?"  and then there are days like today when the BIG things don't happen like they should, and they leave you going, ________ (you fill in the blank)  you know why i say you fill in the blank?  because only you can decide how you're going to let the let-downs, disappointments, and unexpectedness affect you.

today we ventured on our first trip to the airport, and supposedly, our first flight with you kids, ages three and one, i might add.  'we' consisted of me, my dad, my mom, and of course you and titus.  so thankful was i to have the grandparents taking us along on their trip to see family in washington, and what's more, so thankful was i that they were there by our side!  it was hectic to say the least.  shoving through hundreds of people with tiny legs, a stroller, and loads of bags, passing through security, going up and down elevators, escalators and trains.  the best thing i can say is that we didn't have to be in a hurry.  that would have been the, well, opposite of icing on the cake.  after all of the work to get there, the labor and intensity, hours and hours of preparation, it turned out, there was absolutely no chance of us getting on that flight.  talk about taking the wind out of our sails!  it was just thrilling seeing titus light up at the ramp scene, nose pressed against the glass window saying 'wow!' at all of the airplanes driving by.  then.  bye-bye.  it was way overbooked.  homeward bound.  

but even after it all, i can say, hurrah.  first of all, we will get where we want to go eventually.  i am hoping!  and two, being a mama of two young-ins, well, it's taught me more about flexibility than i ever wanted to know!  and lastly, the lemonade, i am thankful to be spending another day with your daddy.  was it disappointing?  yes.  was it hard?  yes.  do we let it ruin and depress us?  we choose....no.  going to bed happy is easy when you decide what things really matter in the scheme of things...things going my way?  according to my plans?  being at peace?  choosing faith...hope...love...choosing GOD.  that's what matters.  sounds cheesy, yes, maybe just a little bit.  but only if i don't take it seriously.  and i do.

Dear Sadie.

Day 137...love

lately i've been pondering the meaning of love, sacrificial love, that is.  in the context of marriage and romance, often you hear people saying they're "looking for love," or wanting to "find love."  i have to say, i get what they are meaning.  but in reality, looking for someone to spend your life with, #1 just happens most often when you're not looking, and #2 love is an act of the will, a choice, to treat someone better than yourself.  so in the framework of marriage, it's about dying to self, and looking to the betterment of your spouse.  but that's not just for marriage, it's for parenting love, and every other type of love.  most often though, when i'm recognizing that i'm sacrificing for someone else, it's the recognition of it that sort of takes away from the love offering for that person.  it's when i'm least aware of my giving of self, and someone points it out to me, that i go, "Wow!"  i am giving...i do love!  something similar happened to me this week and it blessed me and encouraged me, not in the "pat on the back" sort of way, but it amazed me and awakened me to just how blessed the Christian life really is, that we get to unknowingly bless others, love others, serve, not for performance, but out of sincerity because we are full of the knowledge of Christ, and complete in Him.  it's truly empowering and inspiring to me.

Dear Sadie.

"From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another."  John 1:16

"and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  Ephesians 3:19

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 136...blank

well, sadie, i'm falling behind.  what can i say?  it's not that i don't have a lot on my mind.  i do for sure.  but at the end of the day, sometimes i go blank.  i'm kind of glad though, because a lot of the thoughts i have don't matter anyways, so it's not that i have to have something deep and profound to glean from the Lord day after day.  sometimes i just lie down in my bed at night and i just feel His peace, and i literally have no thoughts to reflect on at that moment, and i'm okay with that.  i can just go to sleep.  i'm thinking now how good that is, how it's a sign of a lack of worry and anxiety.  i love that i don't have problems to pour over all of the time.  don't take that to mean i don't have any problems.  all i am saying is that i've come, hopefully longer than temporarily, to a place where i can live in the middle of the battles and not grow weary with them all of the time.  i'm handing them to the One who is fully capable, and He gives me rest.  well, what do you know, i found something to say! :)

Dear Sadie.

Do not be quick in your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.  God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.  Ecclesiastes 5:2

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 135...prayers

sometimes when you're praying for something or someone, you think you're only praying for them.  if it's someone you love and are close to, the chances are, the prayer is just as much about you.  try it sometime.  i'm praying about a situation, for someone very close to me, and i sense that the Lord is using all of it to shape me...just as much as my prayer is for the other.  it's hard to explain, but i hope you get what i'm saying.     never think you're out of the picture.  if you're praying for someone's faith to increase, guess what, you'll find yours increasing.  if you're praying for another's trust in God, you'll start trusting Him more too.  He does miraculous works through your prayers and compassion.  try it and see.

Dear Sadie.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 134...time

it used to be that i struggled with what to fill my time with.  is this worth my time?  is this appropriate?  will this feed my flesh or my spirit?  and while those thoughts still exist...it seems most of my struggle is finding any time at all.  as a young mother, most of your days will be filled with fulfilling the needs of others.  first and foremost, your kids, then your husband, and so on.  somewhere in between you find time for yourself, but few and far-between.  i keep thinking it will get better when you kids are older, but many moms tell me, it only gets worse!  i really can't imagine that!

so my prayer is that whatever i am doing, whether busy or still, i will make room in my heart for the present, most of all.  that i will not always think about what i am not doing, or would like to do, but be thankful for the moments that are taking my time, knowing that if i am serving and loving the Lord, all is worthwhile.

Dear Sadie

Day 133...bonding with the boy

it wasn't really until tonight that i realized how different it is raising a second child.  when it was just you, we had so much time to focus on one another.  for titus, i'm sure he's getting a much different experience.

tonight you are at your grandma's for an overnight.  daddy is at work till late.  that leaves me and titus to play and interact in closer encounters than we are usually afforded.

i came to the realization that you eat up most of my time! ha ha... titus, i'm sure, isn't used to all of this one-on-one.  makes me understand that i should really be more intentional about focused interaction with BOTH of you.

i felt like i heard a lot more words, understood more of what he was saying, and shared a lot of eye contact. something peculiar, i never realized how much titus paid attention to my hair of all things!  he scowled at my hair being in a pony tail, and even when i pulled it out, he still was unhappy about the side that was tucked behind me ear.  What?!  You both have this particularity about my hair, but i never knew he quite felt so strong about it until today.  funny child.

this kind of think happens by default.  but i'm sure tonight's awareness will hopefully continue and help me be a better mom and meet needs that are unique to each of you.

Dear Sadie.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 132...my trek to the beach

so today starts a 30-day journey to the beach...a process of getting as fit as possible in 30 days.  my goals are eating no sandwich breads or desserts, exercising daily by TaeBo or walking, drinking 3 bottles of water, and stretching.  if i get an A, i get a new bathing suit!  well, really the reward will be if i can lose a few pounds, just to feel more fit and a little more comfortable in my body.  i gotta take care of my body, which is so hard when you're concentrating on the constant care of two little bodies.  yours just kind of gets put on the back burner by default.  so...here's to 30 days.  can i do it?  we shall see.  i'm pretty goal-oriented, so when i put something down as official as this (i even had my mom make a printed out checklist for me), it's pretty much a sure thing.  but these days, well, you just never know.

Dear Sadie.

Day 131...bedtime marathon

the computer is burning my legs as i lay here and figure out what to write.  the only thing that keeps running through my head is, "geez, that bedtime 'routine' was the farthest from a routine as it could ever be."  that was a going-to-bed-marathon.  were you kids going for some kind of record?  even with routines set in place, things happen, strange things, and you're left going...that took 2 hrs??  now i'm needing to just unwind.  i'm sorry i don't have more to write!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 130...seeds

today i was pondering with a good friend of mine the unseen life of the mother of young children at home.

i now think of a mother being much like a farmer.  a farmer?  what?  yes, a farmer.

one who plants seeds.  there is not much reward in the day to day labor.  but by planting those seeds, there is sure to reap a harvest in the future.

so it is with mothering.  i don't get a whole lot of reward day-to-day.  i don't get a paycheck.  i don't get any public recognition or accolades.  i don't even get a "weekend" to look forward to.  BUT...

the seeds i plant every day will reap good fruit if i'm sowing into my children with the goodness God provides.  sowing wisdom.  love.  peace.  righteousness.  what a privilege.

so i'll strap on my boots and hat tomorrow morning.  get breakfast for you kids.  dress you.  drive you to vacation bible school.  take Titus to storytime at the library.

some of things will be remembered by you, some forgotten.  but I know a God who sees.  and only He knows how the seed and the growing thing really works.  and that's the beauty of it all.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 129...now i lay me down to sleep

as i lied in bed with you, saying prayers, i realized i couldn't remember the last time i prayed with you at night.  that is absolutely crazy!  of all the routines we require, that at least should rank at the top!  i guess that reflects where i've been in my own prayer life, and i want change.  it felt so good to talk to Jesus with you. i couldn't help but wonder what was going through your mind as i lifted up friends and family and talked to Him like the close friend that He is. it reminded me that i'm not just to talk to my children about God, i'm to talk to God with my children.  no sense in moping about it.  all is forgiven.  i hope today will be the turning point.

Dear Sadie.

"if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, God listens to him."  John 9:31

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 128...forever!

today at our sunday gathering we were singing,

"holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come"

in one of my favorite worship songs.

as i sang and worshiped, my spirit said, "i could sing this song forever....i really could!"

could i actually?  probably not.  but my heart said, "yes! yes! yes!" when i asked myself, could I?


some people are afraid of too much emotion when it comes to praising Jesus.  i say, What?  Are you crazy?!


if it weren't for passion, Jesus couldn't have died for us!  He is all about the heart.
emotions come naturally when we fix our eyes on the Lord.

how great is HE.  how awesome and merciful is HE.  how compassionate and faithful is HE.  how generous and gracious is HE.  oh how I love HIM!!  my heart is overwhelmed.  there is so much power and peace felt in HIS presence. HE is just so GOOD.

GOD is real.  HE is with us.  and HE longs to connect face to face with us.  our hearts poured out to Him....for He poured it all out for us first.

"with all creation i sing,
praise to the King of Kings,
You are my everything
and i will adore you..."

i wanted to sit and dwell on HIM with ALL OF MY HEART today!


but alas i will...someday in heaven.  it will all be so complete, all of us lacking nothing.  we will have all of the time in the world.

Dear Sadie.

"that my heart may sing to You and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever." PSalm 30:12

Day 127...Super Sadie!

i feel like i may have written about this before, but 127 days into this thing now, it's too many to go back and review.  so i'll run the risk of repeating myself because of the cuteness.

today you reminded me that you want to be a "superhero" when you grow up.  i thought only boys wanted that? :)

you told me all about how you want to save people.  i think you even said you wanted to save Jesus from dying on the cross.  cute, but i didn't go there with you.  you'll find out when you have a better grasp on chronology.  but you were very clear that you wanted to save lives.

well guess what.  you're on the right track!  Jesus started it, and we're to finish.  He started it by making the ultimate superhero sacrifice.  He is definitely my hero.  and you will be someone's hero someday when you lead them to Jesus.  we are hand-crafted for the family business and are to carry on the torch of building the kingdom.  pretty cool, huh?

get your cape ready Super Sadie!

Dear Sadie.

"you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses..."Acts 1:8

Friday, June 8, 2012

Day 126...rough days

i'm getting to the point now where i can admit i cried about something, anything, and i don't care who knows it. and i don't want to make it sound like i cry all the time.  the truth is, i don't.  i tear up a lot when i get emotional. but i don't often break down like i did this morning.  i was so sad my husband had to go in to work on his day off when he worked such a long week already, and i was already missing him, and dreading being a single mom yet another day.  blah, blah, blah.  cry, cry, cry.  the part that surprises me about all of it now is...i don't care who knows it.  i'm willing to admit that i'm needy, and tired, and at times overwhelmed, because deep down, i am satisfied.  i don't care how miserable a day becomes.  as adorable as my kids are, things can get rough when the pressure is on to get this, do this, be here, go there, all within my four walls.  and i only have two kids!  (well, with one extra for babysitting, that kind of counts in a way)  so i admit it.  it's hard.  i want you to know going into it that being a mom will undoubtedly be the hardest, most challenging, life-altering thing you will ever do (unless maybe you go to war or something!)...and yet, it's the greatest work of all.

Dear Sadie.

Day 125...entertainment

someone sparked my imagination today on the word "entertainment."  so much of our lives are drawn into this arena, and i think at times, yes, it is a form of distraction.  a way of escape.  but when i think about what is so alluring to us about books and movies and theater and events, etc, i am reminded of our need for the bigger picture.  written on our hearts is the grandest story of which we are all a part.  all of life, yes, especially in the story telling industry, there are minor stories that paint for us pieces of the puzzle that build to one large-scale mural, telling who we are, and from where we've come.  i think it explains a lot why we are moved to tears so often, or become gripped by a thrilling tale, or drawn to a fantasy.  we are made for so much more than the mundane order of life.  and that cannot be down-played as mere entertainment.  to me, often-times, it can and should be labeled as awakenings.

be careful and cautious, yes.  but let your heart be moved to a greater understanding of the spirit of man, and the Spirit that woos our hearts to be a part of His great story.  we all have a part to play.

Dear Sadie.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 124...jump-rope day

off to walmart we went.  this was our fun for the evening.  getting out of the house so we could breathe and see "the world" for a bit. let's see what fun we can buy with a dollar bill.  a dollar bill your "daa" slipped you when I wasn't looking. *smile*

for the hundredth time, i felt an alien walking through the sliding doors.  everywhere i looked, people were on a mission to grab and buy what they came in for.  batteries.  lipstick.  paint.  a towel rack.  roller blades.  hallmark cards.  bread.  what were we there?  to see what dollar item would put the biggest smile on your face.

at first i thought you were going to pick the bouncy balls that made you and Titus light up like Christmas trees.  they were so big you couldn't even wrap your tiny arms around them.  but soon, as i predicted, you went on to other things.  after about 20 minutes of oohs and ahhs and "no, let's find something smaller,"  your eyes landed on something you just had to have..."i've always wanted a jump-rope!"  just like your playgroup friends, you exclaimed.  i couldn't believe it.  it was actually 97 cents, too.  miraculous.  pure joy and energy surged your entire being, and we frolicked to the check-out.  you slapped your jump-rope onto the counter, along with crumpled up dollar bill.  the lady checking you out couldn't help but grin ear to ear, handling the transaction with sweetness and finesse.  i added 3 cents from my purse, and we were happily on our way.

never before had i believed that such minimalist times would bring me to realize how frivolous i used to be.  how the things i thought i had to have were really just an illusion, there to make my life frazzled and urgent and wanting.  i hope to get out of this mess soon, yes.  but i couldn't be more grateful for it at the same time. it's just what i needed to make me truly thankful and see clearly about the things we need and the desires we have and the balance of the two.  what makes me even more grateful is, while i wish i could spoil you kids a little more than we are able, i am so glad you've heard no so many times, you're content with asking and moving on without a temper tantrum, without making me feel horrible.  it's as though at three you are aware that we may not get everything we want, but that doesn't make us less happy.  it's a beautiful thing.

Dear Sadie.





Day 123...change

today i was reminded....

everything changes.  but GOD.

everything changes.  people change.  culture changes.  seasons change.  our bodies change.  moods change.  people move away.  we move.  we meet new people and take on their characteristics.  we change our clothes. we change our hair.  we change jobs.  we grow in nature, being affected by influences surrounding us, circumstances we find ourselves in.

but today i'm reminded.  one thing that never changes...GOD'S LOVE.

such a big point, but easy to miss.  you have to stop and think about it long enough for it to start sinking in.  and when it does, you can't help but SMILE.

i was carrying you to bed tonight and i was thinking, someday, I'm not even going to be able to do this anymore.  your feet hung down below my needs, your arms wrapped around me.  it made me sad to think not only am i not going to be able to do that someday, but you won't even want me to.  you'll change.  things will even change between us.  i don't want to even think about the great difficulties that lie ahead in adolescent years.  all i can see is right now.  and that's where i want to be.  but the truth is, things will change.  and there's nothing i can do about it.  in this world of shifts and angles, i'm content in knowing God's love for me, for you, and us, never goes anywhere.  it never runs out.  it never fades.  it never fails.  we can never grow out of it.  aren't we blessed.  we are blessed that his LOVE is a continuous flow through our very beings, and He never leaves or outgrows us.  there's great confidence in that if we let it seep into our souls.

you may grow out of my arms, sweet girl, but you'll always be in my HEART.

Dear Sadie.

"His love endures forever"  --all over the Bible


Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 122...just wiped

here i am at the end of another long day and i am so wiped that i cannot even keep my eyes open.  i hate that when it comes to "me" time, the tiredness wins over.  i feel like you, fighting a nap saying ever so matter of factly, "I'm not tired," and then conking out on the couch.

Dear Sadie.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 121...blah

i'm kind of feeling starved for inspiration today.  think i need to just do some soaking.
night sweetheart.

Dear Sadie.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 120...parents

your grandma (tabby) is a special, special lady.  she is the one who has taught me much of what I know, much of what i do, without even realizing it.  she never wrote me letters, but she did teach me in her own way, mostly in ways without words, as the biggest lessons seemed to get learned.  she is 66 today.  we celebrated at dinner tonight while you stayed with nana and daa.  i hope you get to know your grandparents well into your adult life. they have a lot of love to give and a lot of life still left in them.  there's much more to being a good parent than making all the right decisions.  (thank God!)  i see parents as lovers of those who are extensions of themselves. our children are on loan, and we are stewards of God's ultimate gift, lives.  i sense the only way to succeed in parenting, as in anything, is to stay connected to the Branch.  yes, He will teach us to love, and lead, and breathe, and rest and have fun.

Dear Sadie.

"honor thy father and thy mother"

Day 119...imagination gone wild

a child's imagination is something to wonder about.  today you played with a basket of crayons for nearly an hour.  first you lined a bunch up by color like a rainbow.  then they started talking to each other.  i couldn't hear all of the conversations, but i know for sure they were having crayon kids and babies.  can i borrow some of that imagination for my first book?  if i could just tap into some of what you got.

who needs toys when you have an imagination like yours?  how perfectly content you were for almost an hour while i was getting ready for the evening.  did i teach you that?  were you just born that way?  if i could package that ability or bottle it and give it away to strung out mom friends i would. maybe if we had more money you'd be spending your time playing with more advanced toys or something.  it's not like we're really poor.  we have two cars and a house with dogs on a fenced-in lot in a sweet little subdivision for crying out loud.  although just about every day there is something you ask for that you have been wanting.  my heart's desire is to run out that second and get it for you.  trust me.  but, then again, i'm glad we can't.  maybe, just maybe, the crayons wouldn't talk and the buttons wouldn't get sorted and i wouldn't have so much help with the dishes and i wouldn't be smiling at your wondrous mind going to town.  once again, are you renting that out?  i'll pay.